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May 31, 2019

B.T.I.A. Takes a Serious Look at Sustainable Tourism

The B.T.I.A. unveiled to its stakeholders and partner agencies a three-year plan for sustainable tourism in Belize. The objective of the symposium was to share details on how the association will assist its members in the transition to environmental friendly practices in an effort to maintain the vibrancy of the local tourism industry. As News Five’s Duane Moody found out today, the environmental protection component of the project is in line with G.O.B.’s plans for eco-tourism in the country.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Belize Tourism Industry Association is leading the charge in paving the road to sustainable tourism in Belize. Today, at a symposium at the Biltmore Plaza, stakeholders, including public and private sector entities, as well as conservation N.G.O.s gathered to discuss why protecting the country’s natural resources is the future of Belize’s tourism industry.

 

John Burgos

John Burgos, Executive Director, B.T.I.A.

“We are going to be taking on a project that’s gonna be promoting best practices; green economy, blue economy, sustainable tourism nationally. We want the cultural change for the way business is done in Belize. We want people to put the environment first and then the economic benefits second. But it is all connected and we are going to go one step further by providing the technical support and expertise to be available.”

 

The Government of Belize, through the Department of Environment, has been promoting the sustainable development and management of businesses and properties in Belize with a regional and global perspective. Going green, as well as the phase-out of single-use plastics and Styrofoam, is a step towards better choices for the tourism industry.

 

Anthony Mai

Anthony Mai, Environmental Officer, D.O.E.

“From the government standpoint, our main responsibility is environmental protection. B.T.I.A. invited us to be a part of the initiative and their goals are the same. And other key players inside the room, we all have the same vision and that is important. That was evident in today’s symposium. What B.T.I.A. is trying to do is in line with environmental protection. They want to ensure that best practices are put in place to manage the tourism sector so that it operates sustainable and that is the same thing that we want to do. And so when they presented the activities that they want to do, I’ll be honest, some of the activities are the same that the Department of Environment has in our annual work plan. So immediately there is a link. Immediately there is cohesion and together we can move towards the same goal.”

 

John Burgos

“You look at the global reports, the regional reports, you look at the local reports for Belize; where we stand in terms of pollution, carbon footprint, the quality of our watersheds, the quality of our tourism products. We need to do something, we need to take action, we need to be more aggressive. We need to be able to address all of these issues with a sense of urgency because it is all connected. The environment, tourism and the people; it is one equation that involves everyone.”

 

But the initiative, which has a lifespan of three years, is an expensive venture, for which the B.T.I.A. says it will seek funding to support.

 

John Burgos

“We are looking to start early 2020. We are going to be using this year to secure some of the funding for the implementation. It is going to require a lot of funding, but we are going to start with the ground work of getting partners, government agencies, other N.G.O. agencies to be a part of it. At least in principle for them to come on board and say we are going to be looking at policies, we are going to be looking at ways of supporting you with whatever—whether it is directly with resources or in kind.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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